The individual time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine confirmed what has been evident all season. Bradley Wiggins is flying.
In making Tour de France predictions, the one argument that keeps popping up about the form of Wiggins is that he’s too good too soon. I’m not buying it. He has spent his whole career hitting his targets.
When the Olympics were his number one objective he won gold medals. Three of them. When he first targeted a top 10 at the Tour de France, in 2009, he finished fourth.
The Criterium du Dauphine is seen as the key tune-up ahead of the Tour de France, and after a relatively quiet early season, Cadel Evans has shown on Stage 1 that come July, he'll be ready for business, writes Matthew Keenan.
The stage victory by Cadel Evans at the Criterium du Dauphine wasn’t a simple show of strength. It was a bit more complicated, and impressive, than that.
It was a reminder that it takes a complete cyclist to win the Tour de France. One that is good on all terrain, can read a race, seize an opportunity and test his rivals at any moment.
For the past decade tennis has been defined by the battles between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In track cycling the corresponding clash is the one between Anna Meares and Victoria Pendleton.
Sure the world’s two fastest women don’t get as much coverage as their big money racquet swinging counterparts, but the rivalry is every bit as intense.
There’s an apparent friendship between Federer and Nadal. Not so Meares and Pendleton. Respect yes. Potential friends? Not likely.
Matthew Keenan argues Bradley Wiggins is on track to winning the Tour de France if Team Sky places its bets on yellow.
"Yes," is the short answer to the headline.
But there are three major challenges, that Bradley Wiggins and/or Team Sky can control, that need to be overcome to turn that "yes" into a Tour de France winning reality – team balance, maintaining form and handling the pressure.
As we head into Christmas and contemplate the year ahead, here are a few of the things Matthew Keenan is looking forward to in 2012.
An outcome in the Contador clenbuterol case
After the hearing in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in November we’re told a decision will, finally, be handed down mid-to-late January. Due to the length of this case, whatever the outcome cycling’s reputation will be further tarnished.